For those who are into all things John Denver, a ski that bears his image is now available.
Icelantic LLC, of Denver, produces and sells the new skis, a version of its Nomad line, said company founder and Chief Executive Ben Anderson. They are available for sale through www.icelanticskis.com. A portion of the revenue will go to John Denver's estate, Anderson said.
"A representative of John Denver's estate came to us, and they were Icelantic skiers," he said. "They pitched the opportunity of hiring our artist, Travis Parr, to do a portrait of John for the 15th anniversary of his death."
Parr painted a portrait of the singer-songwriter, who lived in Aspen from the early 1970s until his death in a plane crash in the fall of 1997.
"John Denver's kids ended up buying the painting," Anderson said. "Then we contracted with them to do the limited edition of the John Denver ski. We've been planning it over the last few months and just launched the project about a week ago."
Anderson said his company is selling prints from the portrait, the skis bearing Denver's image or both as a package deal.
He said the new ski design represents more than just a sales opportunity. John Denver's music has been the soundtrack to Icelantic's time in the ski industry, he said.
"The synergy that exists in this collaboration reflects the pursuit of a passion-driven lifestyle," one that the 1970s hit-maker and longtime conservationist espoused, a company statement says.
Tim Braun, of b2 Inc., a Basalt marketing company, pointed out that the unveiling of the new ski coincides with the upcoming release of a John Denver tribute album that was recorded with the help of many established music veterans.
Anderson said the idea now is to offer the limited John Denver ski through this season.
"We were only going to do it for a month, but now we see it as a more open-ended project," he said.
John Denver was 53 when the experimental plane he was flying crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California in October 1997. He is best known for having recorded a string of hits in the early 1970s, including "Take Me Home, Country Roads," "Rocky Mountain High," "Sunshine on My Shoulders" and "Annie's Song" - compositions that propelled him to worldwide fame.
His songs "Aspenglow" and "Starwood in Aspen" are odes to the city he called home for nearly three decades. In 2000, the sanctuary at Rio Grande Park, with large stones inscribed with the lyrics to some of his songs, was dedicated in his name. The sanctuary was expanded earlier this year when an adjoining wetlands area was created.